An Interpretation of the Urban Folly in Gwangju, South Korea Through the Lens of Contextual Novelty

  • Lee, Min Jung (Department of Architecture, Pusan National University) ;
  • Lee, Dong-Eon (Department of Architecture, Pusan National University)
  • Received : 2016.04.07
  • Accepted : 2016.07.19
  • Published : 2016.12.30


Urban regeneration, which implies a certain type of change from what has previously existed, requires fundamental understandings of previous problematic ways of thinking for a meaningful change, as well as a new philosophy that is thought to support that change. This means a change in philosophy is needed to discuss 'newness' in urban regeneration. From this perspective, this paper explores the philosophies which shaped traditional cities as well as a philosophy that may be able to suggest changes to contemporary cities. This paper further proposes contextual novelty as necessary to pursue. This contextual novelty does not deny modern cities' problems but embraces them and carries them into contemporary cities. Arguing for qualitative novelty, this paper argues that contextualism, which explores the complex relationships of direct and indirect contributors of a given event, can help us to understand contemporary cities' heterogenic characteristics. In this context, this paper discusses the concept of novelty in contemporary discourse of urban regeneration by using the philosophy of contextualism. Finally a recent example of urban regeneration in the city of Gwangju, South Korea is interpreted using the concept of contextual novelty.


Contextualism;Contextual Novelty;Gwangju;Urban Folly;Urban Regeneration


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